PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins has been a leader on and off the field during his six seasons in Philadelphia, recently lending his voice during a town hall meeting on policing and the city’s next police commissioner.
“What we want to see is a commissioner that comes in with the idea that there needs to be a radical change in the culture of policing in Philadelphia,” Jenkins said at October’s town hall.
On Monday, Jenkins expanded on that idea in an opinion piece in the Inquirer, titled “When picking new police commissioner, Mayor Kenney must listen to real Philadelphians.”
In the piece, Jenkins noted that Philadelphia needs “a commissioner who fights back against the police union.”
“Nearly every time we hear a story of an officer abusing power, whether through violence or racist Facebook postings, the police union is there to defend the bad behavior. We need a commissioner who isn’t in lockstep with the union and who will instead push back when the union tries to hide and justify bad behavior. The commissioner must also support a union contract that allows for more officer accountability, even if that is an unpopular position with the rank and file,” Jenkins writes.
And that caught the ire of Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby.
In a statement, McNesby lampooned Jenkins as a “non-resident washed up football player,” and added that his opinion piece was a “racist attack” against police.
“Only the Inquirer would offer Malcolm Jenkins to tackle crime, when he can’t even manage to tackle his own opponents,” McNesby writes. “Hurling slurs and false allegations against police offers nothing in the way of improvement. Like other has been football players, they now do most of their running with their mouths.”
— FOPLodge5 (@FOPLodge5) November 19, 2019
It’s been a tumultuous year for the Philadelphia Police Department.
In June, hundreds of Philadelphia police officers, including some ranking sergeants and lieutenants, were outed for alleged racist and violent posts across social media.
In July, 13 officers, including a sergeant, were suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss.
Former Commissioner Richard Ross resigned in August amid claims of mishandling sexual harassment accusations.
In the opinion piece, Jenkins calls for an increase in accountability and transparency in the police department and a transparent search process in choosing Philly’s next police commissioner.